Josiah Wedgwood, (1730-95). British pottery designer and manufacturer. He set up his own business in his native town of Burslem, Staffordshire, in 1759. The characteristic Wedgwood stonewares, decorated in white relief on an unglazed background of blue, green, or black, were strongly influenced in design by ancient Greek vases. Wedgwood’s porcelain rivalled that of Sevres and Meissen. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for his invention of the pyrometer, an instrument for measuring high temperatures, and he was also the first industrialist to install steam-powered engines in his factory.